Case names 3 hotels with ‘unfair, excessive’ penalties
Jessica LimMy PaperFriday, Apr 17, 2015
The consumer watchdog has named three hotels for their “unfair and excessive” cancellation fees for weddings: Furama Riverfront Hotel, Riverview Hotel and Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore.
This is the first time the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) is naming such hotels, to prompt hotels to reconsider their wedding cancellation penalties.
The contracts at the three hotels, out of 19 surveyed in a study released by Case last month (PDF, Annex), charge full price for cancellations made three to five months before the wedding, without mention of what happens if a replacement is found.
Case executive director Seah Seng Choon said consumers are typically not allowed to negotiate a contract and that most hotels here have cancellation penalties.
For instance, some had deposits – ranging from $1,000 to $8,000 – forfeited despite having found someone to take over their bookings.
A Chinese-style wedding at a hotel typically costs $35,000 to $55,000.
When contacted, the SHA said it will work with Case to come up with guidelines, but it may be hard to get hotels to adopt them.
Each hotel has different fees, said SHA executive director Margaret Heng. “We can only give them a standard they can refer to and adopt if necessary.”
She said hotels need such terms and conditions to prevent couples from booking several venues and choosing one only at the last minute. “At the end of the day, when people sign contracts they should not do so blindly.”